b5media launches 2 portals

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Professional Blogging

Today b5media announced the launch of our new business portal, bizzia.com, which reminded me that I hadn’t yet written about the first portal that we launched, starked.com!

Bizzia is an online resource into the business blogs at b5 – it features the best of the content the writers are producing, as well as videos and more. In similar manner, Starked was launched in Las Vegas last month to support our entertainment news.

Starked highlights the top Entertainment news in celebrity, tv, movies & music. I’ve been managing that portal since soon after it launched (my new job title is Online Producer, Starked). w00t! It’s the second iteration of the portal concept, after the earlier try I blogged about here. This new portal way outstrips the old one!

Since Starked is near and dear to me, I’m going to talk about it a bit more. As a portal, it offers insight into two “channels” or “verticals” at b5 – the Entertainment Channel (which I manage) and the Music Channel (managed by Jeanne Dupuis). Together, that’s more than 70 blogs and 30 writers producing upwards of 4,000 posts per month.

Nobody can blame you if you don’t want to read 4,000 posts a month, so Starked is the window into the newest and most sought after news. Each day we feature 40+ new stories on the front page and on the subpages (for tv, celebrities, music so far). I’ve been working on rotating the “image-based” posts a few times a day, depending on how much “free” time I have. It’s been great fun, but has kept me super busy.

If you are into Entertainment, tune in to Starked each day, or grab the RSS feed for the featured posts.

Go Global Presentation: Travel Blogging

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Events, Professional Blogging

Today I gave a presentation to a small group of students at UBC as part of Go Global Week. The presentation topic was “Documenting your International Experience: how to create a dynamic travel blog

I used these slides as my speaking points during the talk, although covered a lot more ground that was here. Raul, a great support during the day, also live blogged the session! You can read that here.

Travel Blogging Basics
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: travel blogging)

You can also download the presentation as PDF here.

Happy b5-iversary to Me

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Business, Professional Blogging

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Today marks my 3-year anniversary with b5media. Hard to believe that was 3 years ago already!

I’ve been with b5media since the day they launched – on September 19, 2005 my two blogs with b5 were Cooking-Gadgets (which I still write) and SheKnowsBest (no longer writing).

A lot has changed since the blog network launched – both from a b5media perspective and from my perspective as part of the company.

Over the years, there was a progression for more of my time to be devoted to work at b5. After being the first person to work “full time” on my blogs there, things progressed. I became the first Channel Editor (CE) in the first channel, which was then a combo of Entertainment & Celebrities. The channels eventually split, then were managed separately, and now are (mostly) back together. The current Entertainment channel has over 50 blogs.

Within b5, I still write Cooking-Gadgets, but also write on Gilmore Girls News, Mischa News, Hilary News and Lohan Groupie. There have been times when I’ve written more sites, and likely I will move towards writing fewer sites.

The work I enjoy the most at b5 is about community – about fostering community on my sites, but more importantly fostering community within the Entertainment channel. I love working with each and every one of my writers – they do some amazing work! I have also fallen in love with the Entertainment industry – I love the pace of it, the style of it, and the community that flocks to it.

Upcoming Speaking Gigs

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Events, Professional Blogging

I am finally getting back into speaking (something I love to do) and have a couple of upcoming speaking engagements.

b5 Blogger Summit at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas
Topic: SEO and Advertisers (speaking with Gabrielle Green)

Date: Friday, September 19, 2008
Time: 9:30 AM to 10:15 AM
Location: Las Vegas Convention center
Cost: Free! (Mostly for b5ers, but everyone is welcome)

RSVP to ed@b5media.com

b5media has a lot of fun stuff going on for Blog World Expo. If you’re going, you can also sign up for a blogger meet-up on the 19th and come by our booth to play poker & win prizes! Info here.

Go Global Week at UBC
Topic: Travel Blogging

The session will talk about travel blogging, how to get started, and tips on things like adding photos to your blog.

Date: Thursday, October 02, 2008
Time: 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Location: Chemistry Room 300, UBC
Cost: Free!

Register Here – you need to be a UBC student.

Blog Off 24-Hour Blogging Marathon

Posted in Blogging, Professional Blogging

b5media‘s Entertainment channel has teamed up for a 24-hour blog-a-thon to support The Actors Fund.

The Great b5media Blog Off will begin on June 20th at 12:01am (in each writer’s respective time zone), to celebrate the summer solstice, which hasn’t occurred on any date other than June 21st since 1975 – this year it lands on June 20th. Writers for many of our sites (including me!) will be posting fresh news at least once per hour for a full 24 hours.

We are looking for guest posts on the 23 participating Entertainment sites, and also for charity donations to The Actors Fund. You can learn more here and here.

The Business channel at b5 is also participating in the Blog Off to support Accion International. You can read more here.

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Contests around the Entertainment Channel

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Professional Blogging, Shopping

The b5media Entertainment Channel, where I’m Editor, is alive with contests! Check out some of these great opportunities to win everything from DVDs to Books to Purses!

I also have four other contests running on my other b5media sites I wanted to share:

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The rollercoaster of life

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Professional Blogging

It seems we barely get on top of one big thing – a renovation, a deadline, a vacation – and there are two more around the corner. It’s been like that around here of late: like SXSW and the Junos! I have a bunch of updates of all our busy stuff.

At work, the Entertainment channel I manage has grown to 39 sites, with more on their way. In the past few months, our size has doubled and we are getting more amazing opportunities all the time. Some things require a lot of leg work, but I am so proud of the work we get done together. It keeps me very busy. On top of all of that, I do still blog. Not as much as I used to, and obviously very little around here, but still about a half dozen consistently. I work far too many hours now, and look forward to the 10 hours a week I’ll gain back after my crazy Gilmore Girls marathon recapping is over. 10 hours in which I can do other work – or, ideally, have some ‘me’ time to do things like play with our amazing new camera.

In life, things come along that you don’t expect, but you ride it out. My health was one of those major things, though I am thankfully doing much better. And then there are little ones, like taking an unexpected but exciting trip to Austin for SXSW Interactive. I got to spend time with my fellow b5ers, many of whom I’ve never met before. It was valuable team bonding time. And the conference, or should I say party?, was great.


Bowling night at SXSW ; Photographer: tris

But such opportunities come with a cost. I am still self-employed, so don’t get vacation days. In order to go away for those 5 days to Austin, and with very little advance notice, I pulled several 14 hour days in a row. Vacations come at a very high price. Ideally, I’d be doing more of these trips. Going to more conferences, networking, and perhaps even speaking. Things I love to do, and so rarely ‘have time’ for. I have decided it’s time to ‘make time’ for certain things. I’m just not quite certain how.

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